most effective way to learn Spanish?

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most effective way to learn Spanish?

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Jan 15, 2015 1:21 pm

I'm interested in PI work and I've interned in a number of AGs offices as well as PD offices and without a doubt I've been told it's almost essential for me to be fluent in Spanish. I took it all through college and minored in it, but I'm honestly nowhere near fluent and those I know who are fluent have at least spent some time in a foreign country actually speaking it on a daily basis.

That being said, I don't foresee myself spending time in a foreign country anytime soon so has anyone had any success using other methods?

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ymmv
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Re: most effective way to learn Spanish?

Postby ymmv » Thu Jan 15, 2015 1:25 pm

Duolingo while commuting or waiting in line anywhere, join a local Spanish language club through Meetup.com, take classes at a local college if you have the time and money. Not really a substitute for immersion, but helpful.

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Re: most effective way to learn Spanish?

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Jan 15, 2015 1:26 pm

Find a way to interact with it on a daily basis. Duolingo is a good app, Rossetta Stone may help, read newspapers, watch movies, its all about conditioning your brain to think in Spanish.

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ymmv
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Re: most effective way to learn Spanish?

Postby ymmv » Thu Jan 15, 2015 1:28 pm

Anonymous User wrote:Find a way to interact with it on a daily basis. Duolingo is a good app, Rossetta Stone may help, read newspapers, watch movies, its all about conditioning your brain to think in Spanish.


Oh yeah, movies and TV are a must. And you're really lucky on this count since Latin America is in the middle of something like a golden age of cinema right now.

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Yukos
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Re: most effective way to learn Spanish?

Postby Yukos » Thu Jan 15, 2015 2:07 pm

In my experience getting close to fluency is impossible without immersion. Is there no way you can spend a couple weeks in LA or Spain during the summer? I believe there are short programs that give you a host family and lessons and require you to speak Spanish the whole time.

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XxSpyKEx
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Re: most effective way to learn Spanish?

Postby XxSpyKEx » Thu Jan 15, 2015 6:26 pm

Great thread

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elterrible78
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Re: most effective way to learn Spanish?

Postby elterrible78 » Thu Jan 15, 2015 6:48 pm

Anonymous User wrote:I'm interested in PI work and I've interned in a number of AGs offices as well as PD offices and without a doubt I've been told it's almost essential for me to be fluent in Spanish. I took it all through college and minored in it, but I'm honestly nowhere near fluent and those I know who are fluent have at least spent some time in a foreign country actually speaking it on a daily basis.

That being said, I don't foresee myself spending time in a foreign country anytime soon so has anyone had any success using other methods?


It's very, very tough to do this without immersion, and I'll tell you right now that speaking regularly is an absolute necessity (I'm guessing you need to be fluent not just in reading and writing). Others have posed good suggestions. Somehow finding a speaking group that has at least some native speakers would be a great idea, but you'll have to stick with it.

Rosetta stone is absolute garbage, as far as I'm concerned. Something that may help a bit (with pronunciation if nothing else) are the Pimsleur products. I've used them for other languages through the Audible app on my phone, and they're substantially better than Rosetta Stone (although I realize that by itself is very faint praise).

Movies and TV (and to a lesser degree, music) in Spanish is also a good idea. Even those absurd telenovelas can be helpful.

One thing I found very useful when I was learning was to translate stuff in my head, even when I didn't have to. If I was listening to a song on the radio while driving, or overhearing a conversation in a restaurant, or even just when I thought something to myself in English, I'd translate that to Spanish in my head (and if I got stuck, I'd make a mental note and look it up later). I think this was really helpful in getting a good grasp of grammar, and developing some facility.

Anyway, above all I would check into at least a short term immersion program if you can swing it. Most of Latin America (and even Spain, in comparison with other European countries) is pretty cheap. You'd be surprised what a change just a month can make.

Good luck!

Iforgotmylastone
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Re: most effective way to learn Spanish?

Postby Iforgotmylastone » Fri Jan 16, 2015 2:15 pm

I had to learn Spanish quickly some years ago and one of the things I found really helpful was having a Spanish radio channel on at a low level in the background as I went about my day.

Also, I ended up going to a Spanish-speaking church for a while and found a number of good conversation partners there, but that might not be your cup of tea.

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Re: most effective way to learn Spanish?

Postby Anonymous User » Fri Jan 16, 2015 2:26 pm

As an attorney, unless you are a native speaker, are you open to lawsuits if you miscommunicate with a client? I speak Spanish, but not fluently, so I wonder how much it will actually help me.

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TrampsLikeU$
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Re: most effective way to learn Spanish?

Postby TrampsLikeU$ » Fri Jan 16, 2015 4:18 pm

This isn't helpful until you have a decent level of fluency/vocab, but books in foreign languages on your kindle are very helpful and really enjoyable. You can look up words you don't know while you're reading without it being too disruptive. My recommendation is to read something you've already read in English (preferably more than once), since then you won't lose the story thread.

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bjsesq
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Re: most effective way to learn Spanish?

Postby bjsesq » Fri Jan 16, 2015 4:18 pm

Yukos wrote:In my experience getting close to fluency is impossible without immersion.

This

victortsoi
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Re: most effective way to learn Spanish?

Postby victortsoi » Fri Jan 16, 2015 11:01 pm

I'm also really interested in this topic, and am not too great with languages. The thing is, do we really *need* the kind of fluency that some here are suggesting? I know med students etc take some spanish crash course to help them do what they need at work. Is there no legal equivalent?

Of course, I'm only talking about basic client interaction, NOT being good enough to read and analyze a legal document in spanish.

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Re: most effective way to learn Spanish?

Postby Anonymous User » Sat Jan 17, 2015 5:45 pm

I became fluent in a different Romance language during college by reading and watching the news, listening to music, etc. I already had a solid grasp of the grammar but the constant exposure helped make it really click. I also took every opportunity I could to speak/chat/think in it and after a while I was able to interact almost the same as in English. I'd say it's probably similar to how most Scandinavians develop a high proficiency in English, definitely possible without immersion. Btw, Spanish is everywhere so it's probably the easiest to learn in the US this way.

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XxSpyKEx
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Re: most effective way to learn Spanish?

Postby XxSpyKEx » Sat Jan 17, 2015 9:11 pm

victortsoi wrote:I'm also really interested in this topic, and am not too great with languages. The thing is, do we really *need* the kind of fluency that some here are suggesting? I know med students etc take some spanish crash course to help them do what they need at work. Is there no legal equivalent?


There is a legal equivalent. I think you need some basic understanding of Spanish for it to be helpful, but, if you have that, there are spanish for lawyer books and there are likely courses you can find for that as well. I'm not sure how helpful it actually would be for a client interview, though, since you're inevitably not going to understand a lot of what the client tells you (which is a problem, because how can you provide quality legal work for the client if you don't understand a lot of what the client is telling you?). Although, I imagine it's enough for things like client letters, since you can always use Google translate/the internet to help you with things you don't understand.




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